5 Things to Know: The Past Weekend at the Olympics


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Photo: Steven Zwerink/Wikimedia Commons

The five things you should know if you were only going to know five things about this past weekend at the Olympics.

1. In the sense that human evolution is a gradual, linear change, Usain Bolt isn’t human. You’re not supposed to look comfortable while you’re running faster than any (supposed) human being ever has, but Bolt really does. In maybe the greatest 100m field of all time, he won gold with an Olympic-record time of 9.63. Bolt’s countryman—and supposed rival—Yohan Blake finished in second with a 9.75. Americans Justin Gatlin (9.79) and Tyson Gay (9.80) finished third and fourth, respectively. For some context, 9.89 was good enough for silver in Beijing, while 9.84 would’ve been good enough for gold in every Olympics before 2008—or Pre-Bolt.

2. Andy Murray finally won his first title at Wimbledon—except he’s still Grand Slam-less. That is, unless you count the Olympics as a Grand Slam, which it isn’t. Take nothing away from Murray, though. He beat Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, at Wimbledon, both in straight sets, en route to Olympic gold. No one else in the world has ever done that. But—obviously, but—Olympic tennis is different: every match other than the final is best-of-three, and it’s a compressed schedule. While it’s not the same as winning Wimbledon, it’s still the biggest thing Andy Murray’s ever done.

3. On the women’s side, Serena Williams won gold with one of the more dominant runs in tennis history. Williams didn’t lose a set in London, and she beat Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in the final, ending the match, which lasted for barely an hour, with an ace. Depending on who you listen to, though, the victory was “marred” by a dance move called the “Crip Walk,” which Williams “performed” after winning. Two things: 1) If you feel the need to explain what the “Crip Walk” is to your readers or if you need to put quotes around the term, just stop. And 2) The dance was awesome. Watch this, and try not to smile. If you’re not smiling, the 1940s ended in 1949.

4. This is the last time, I promise. Swimming at the 2012 Olympics is over. And, presumably, so is the Olympic career of Michael Phelps. His final tally: 18 golds, two silvers, and two bronzes. He also has more total medals than 154 countries. Phelps is the greatest Olympian ever, which, according to the rules, makes him first in line to become President of the Moon whenever it’s colonized. On the whole, U.S. swimming destroyed the competition, winning 30 total medals and 16 golds. The biggest disappointment was Australia, which won 10 total medals, one gold, and no individual golds. But don’t worry, Australian swimmers. When dinosaurs are eating the Sydney Opera House, everyone will forget about the Olympics.

5. Oscar Pistorius failed to qualify for the men’s 400m final, which is tonight, finishing in last place in his semifinal heat. Sure, it would’ve been great to see Pistorius in the final, but that doesn’t really matter. “The whole experience is mind-blowing,” Pistorius said, which, uh, yeah. This guy made it to the semifinals of the Olympics WITHOUT LEGS, people. Pistorius will race with the South African 4x400m relay team later this week.